Lacson open to revisit laws on oil deregulation, plunder
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson said Friday he is open to reviewing the oil deregulation law and the plunder law.
Lacson said the oil deregulation law can be modified as fuel prices continue to rise amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“Pwedeng pag-aralan yung re-regulation kasi nag de-regulate na nga. Ang problema kasi doon, yung oil stabilization fund, saan natin kukunin? Syempre, sa national budget natin kukunin yun. Kakayanin ba natin?” Lacson said in an interview with Radyo 5.
(We can look at re-regulation since we have already de-regulated. We have a problem in the oil stabilization fund, where will it get it? Of course, in the national budget. But will that be enough?)
“So pwedeng i-revisit yung oil deregulation law, i-modify natin (We can revisit the oil deregulation law and modify it),” he added.
The oil price stabilization fund, according to Executive Order No. 137, is “used to reimburse the oil companies for cost increases on crude oil and imported petroleum products resulting from exchange rate adjustment and/or increase in world market prices in the desire to stabilize the prices of petroleum products for a longer period.”
However, Lacson said it has to be ensured that the oil price stabilization fund is free of corruption.
“Ngayon kung mag-establish tayo ng oil stabilization fund at medyo may kalokohan na naman ang pangangalaga sa pondo, kailangan tingnan nating mabuti yun,” Lacson said.
(If we are going to establish an oil stabilization fund and there are irregularities in maintaining it, we have to look at that.)
Lacson said there is limited time for the present Congress to amend the said law, however, President Rodrigo Duterte can still call for a special session to prioritize it.
To recall, the Palace has called on Congress to study the oil deregulation law.
Meanwhile, Lacson is also open to revisiting the plunder law, which punishes erring public officials linked to corrupt activities that involve at least P50 million.
“It’s bad enough na kailangan umabot pa ng P50 million yung threshold bago mag-qualify na plunder, medyo may pagbabago pa [sa jurisprudence] na naging complicated pa at lalong parang mas may teknikalidad pa na naipasok,” Lacson said.
(It’s bad enough that it has to reach P50 million to be considered plunder, and yet we have changes in jurisprudence that made the law more complicated and technical.)
“Pwedeng sabihin pwede nating dalawin, revisit ulit yung plunder law para talagang mai-correct yung mga kahinaan. Ganyan naman ang papel ng Kongreso, oversight,” he added.
(We can revisit plunder law so we can correct its weaknesses. Oversight is the role of Congress after all.)
When asked what should be the threshold for a crime to be considered as plunder, Lacson said it is hard to say.
“Mahirap sabihin kung ano yung halaga na dapat gawing threshold kasi dapat diyan ib-base natin sa mga data na–yung sa nangyayari araw-araw. Ano ba yung pangkaraniwan o yung talaga nakakapagpahirap doon sa pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay,” Lacson said.
(It’s hard to say how much the threshold should be because we should base it on data and what is happening every day. How much corrupted money will make Filipinos’ daily lives more difficult?)
“Kasi pwedeng P20 million, ang laking pahirap sa buhay ng mga Pilipino. Pwede namang P50 million hindi pa sapat (We can say P20 million can make Filipinos’ lives difficult. We can also say that P50 million is not enough),” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.